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Employment Law for Employers
At Kingsfords, we pride ourselves on providing a specialist service in all areas of employment law. Whether it be in relation to resolving disputes or preparing employment documents such as contracts of employment.
Our solicitors are specialists in the employment law field and can assist with a raft of employment legal issues. The team has years of collective experience guiding clients through all manner of employment law matters, including more complicated cases that require ongoing support.
With our dedicated team by your side, you can be confident that we will guide you through the ever-evolving employment law and case law and provide practical, tailor-made solutions to the problems arising in employment disputes.
Our solicitors at Kingsfords can provide employment law advice for employers on employment law matters, including:
- Drafting and advising on employment contracts or terms of employment
- Breach of contract
- Drafting and advising on staff handbook and other policy document
- Disciplinary procedures
- Grievance procedures
- Unfair dismissal claims
- Settlement agreements
- Employment tribunal
- Re-structuring and re-organisations
- TUPE transfers
- Restrictive covenants
Speak to our employment law solicitors in Kent today
Speak to one of our specialist solicitors in employment law in Kent at our offices in Ashford, Cranbrook or Hythe today by calling 01233 624545 or fill in our enquiry form on the right hand side of the page to request a call back.
Our expertise with employment law for employers
Drafting and advising on employment contracts or terms of employment
It is crucial to have a robust contract of employment in place when you are hiring staff. This helps to set boundaries and protect the business from potential problems.
Our employment law solicitors can provide advice on what needs to be included in an employment contract, including working hours, holiday entitlement, restrictive covenants benefits and employee’s duties, and responsibilities, in addition to providing assistance with drafting it. It’s our duty and dedication to help your business have strong foundations in place and mitigate any potential risks.
Breach of contract
When you put employment contracts in place that are signed by the employee, you expect them to be adhered to. When an employee subsequently breaches their contract, it can be frustrating but also have the potential to cause issues for the business depending on the type of breach.
Drafting and advising on staff handbook and other policy documents
Similarly, to a contract of employment, it is recommended to have a staff handbook as this will include essential information, including holiday entitlement, sickness and rules of the business, that employees can easily refer to. Other crucial information, such as policies and procedures on disciplinary and grievance, would also be included in the staff handbook.
Our employment law solicitors can assist you in drafting a staff handbook that reflects the business in the best possible way. This helps to prevent any miscommunication and mitigates any potential risks in the future.
If there is a problem in the workplace, such as an employee not doing what they are meant to or acting in unacceptable behaviour, you may want to go down the disciplinary route. Each business should have a set procedure for how they handle such issues, and this helps to prevent any future problems should you need to dismiss an employee.
Our employment law solicitors can help you construct a disciplinary procedure that works for the business, ensuring it follows the law and is a fair procedure.
Employers should have a clearly defined grievance procedure in place should an employee be unhappy with something of concern to their employer.
Our employment law solicitors for employers can assist in crafting a set procedure that is efficient and prevents matters from escalating further, for example, to an employment tribunal.
Unfair dismissal claims
If a past employee claims that they have been unfairly dismissed, it has the potential to cause an array of problems and possibly escalate to an employment tribunal if no action is swiftly taken.
Our team of employment law solicitors will take the time to understand the situation so we can provide specially tailored advice on your legal rights and the options you have available going forward.
If you are in dispute with an employee, you don’t always have to seek support from the court. To avoid court proceedings, it is possible to approach resolving disputes in a non-contentious manner. This could include negotiating a settlement agreement instead of taking matters to a tribunal.
Our employment solicitors have strong negotiation skills and have helped prevent many employment tribunals by using other means.
If you are facing a dispute with your employee that has escalated to the employment tribunal, it can feel like a daunting situation, but with the advice and guidance of a solicitor, you can be certain that the matter is being handled by a specialist.
Our employment law solicitors can ensure you have prepared for the day by creating a strong argument and supporting evidence, and should you need representation during the hearing, we can do this on your behalf.
If you, unfortunately, need to let go of employees via redundancy for any reason, our employment solicitors can provide helpful advice and practical guidance on the redundancy procedure. Receiving efficient legal advice is important to ensure everything has been handled correctly, so it does not discriminate against any employees and ensures the correct procedures have been followed. Without a correct process, it is possible employees may bring forward a claim, such as discrimination and unfair dismissal.
Our employment law solicitors have helped many employers navigate through redundancy and recognise how challenging it can be. We will make sure you understand your role during the redundancy, including your legal obligations and the correct steps to take.
Re-structuring and re-organisations
If you are re-structuring and re-organising your business, this might include making adjustments to roles or entire departments. Our solicitors can support you through this time, making sure everything has been done correctly and does not jeopardise any employees.
When employees are transferring to your business through TUPE, it’s essential to follow the correct steps of the process.
Our employment law solicitors can help guide you in the right direction, ensuring you comply with your legal duty and sidestep any potential problems.
Frequently asked questions about employment law for employers in Kent
Do I need to provide an employment contract, and if so, what needs to be included?
Anyone legally classed as an employee, worker or agency worker has the right to a written document summarising the main terms of their employment. Those legally classed as workers do not have the right to written terms if they started the job before 6 April 2020. The legal term for this document is the 'written statement of employment particulars'. It should be provided on or before the first day of employment.
The following must all be included:
- The employer’s name
- The employee or worker’s name
- The start date (the day the employee or worker starts work)
- The date that ‘continuous employment’ (working for the same employer without a significant break) started for an employee
- Job title or a brief description of the job
- The employer’s address
- The places or addresses where the employee or worker will work
- Pay, including how often and when (for example, £1,000 per month, paid on the last Friday of the calendar month)
- Working hours, including which days the employee or worker must work and if and how their hours or days can change
- Holiday and holiday pay, including an explanation of how its calculated if the employee or worker leaves
- The amount of sick leave and pay (if this information is not included in the document, the employer must state where to find it)
- Any other paid leave (if this information is not included in the document, the employer must state where to find it)
- Any other benefits, including non-contractual benefits such as childcare vouchers or company car schemes
- The notice period either side must give when employment ends
- How long the job is expected to last (if it’s temporary or fixed term)
- Any probation period, including its conditions and how long it is
- If the employee will work abroad, and any terms that apply
- Training that must be completed by the employee or worker, including training the employer does not pay for
How do I deal with an employee’s grievance?
Many workplace problems can be resolved informally. Even if a complaint has been raised informally, it should still be taken seriously as if it was in writing. Formal grievances should be made in writing.
Formal grievances may be made where it has not been possible to deal with the problem informally, or the matter is serious in its nature. Any type of grievance should be raised as soon as possible after the event.
If the workplace has a grievance policy, that should be consulted and followed. One of the first steps will be to discuss the concerns with the employee. Allow them to voice their concerns and how they believe you can assist, and then you can respond accordingly.
Allow them to attend the discussion with a colleague or trade union representative. To prevent any discrimination issues, you should allow them to attend with any other significant persons, such as an interpreter or carer, if necessary. You are not required to allow them to attend with family and friends.
A record of the discussion should be taken, even if it is an informal conversation. Set out any plan of action, including any dates to abide by and then follow up on that to ensure the plan has been followed in order to ascertain whether the problem has been resolved.
How much holiday am I required to give?
You are required to provide paid holiday ('statutory annual leave') to those employed on a full time, part time or under a zero hour contract. The amount of holiday you are required to provide depends upon how many days the employee works and whether you have any extra agreements with your employees.
Holiday begins to accrue from the first day of employment with the employer and still accrues on a probationary period, sick leave and parental leave (maternity, paternity, adoption).
You must give at least the statutory entitlement. You can give more than the statutory entitlement but not less. The written particulars issued to employees should stipulate how much holiday you are awarding each year.
The statutory annual leave is 5.6 weeks per year, and this is pro-rata to days worked per week. This can include the Bank Holidays. If a part day is calculated, this cannot be rounded down. It will, however, be your decision as to how this is dealt with, i.e. rounded up or leave early/come in late.
How can I support mental health in the workplace?
If an employee has a mental health issue, it is important that you take it seriously. It is a good idea to talk to the employee to find out what support they might need at work.
There are many types of mental health issues. An issue can happen suddenly because of a specific event in someone's life, or it can build up gradually over time.
Common mental health issues include:
- Stress (this is not classed as a medical condition, but it can still have a serious impact on wellbeing)
How much notice do I need to provide for redundancy?
During redundancy, there are a number of actions that employers need to take legally, including providing staff with an adequate amount of redundancy notice depending on their length of employment.
For employees who have worked in the business for between 1 and 2 years, they must be provided with at least a week’s worth of notice. For those between 2 and 12 years length of service, they legally require a week’s worth of notice for every year of employment, and anyone who has been with the business for over 12 years legally requires 12 weeks of redundancy notice.
Do I have to pay employees redundancy pay?
When an employee has been in the business for a minimum of two years, they have the legal right to receive ‘statutory redundancy pay’. The value of statutory redundancy pay the employee will be entitled to entirely depends on the length of service, their age during service years and their current salary.
Employers can choose to pay their employees contractual redundancy pay in addition. This should be set out in the employment contract.
Speak to our employment law solicitors in Kent today
Speak to one of our solicitors in Kent today for employment law advice. Contact our offices in Ashford, Cranbrook or Hythe by calling 01233 624545 or fill in our enquiry form on the right hand side of the page to request a call back.
- Daniel Crook
- Director & Head of Litigation
- Julie Granger
- Director - Hythe Office
- Thomas Browne
- Leigh Prebble-Benn
For more information please call us on 01233 624545